Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Danny Payne on baseball cards

Outfielder Danny Payne played five seasons in the Padres organization. In 435 ganes he hit .238 with 25 HR and 193 RBI. Now the owner of Georgia Baseball Academy, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"I grew up collecting baseball cards from a young age. Because I was such a baseball fan from early on (in the middle of the Braves division title runs) my parents used them as an avenue to help me learn to read and understand rudimentary math skills. From there I quickly became an avid collector and organizing my collections by players and Beckett worth (I still have the 100th anniversary collectors edition with Jackie Robinson on the cover). I eventually settled on Ken Griffey Jr. as the player I wanted to collect and I still have my Griffey collection to this day with my two favorite cards being his 89 Upperdeck Rookie Card and a Jackie Robinson insert collectors card where he's wearing #42.I even named my dog Griffey. I would say that seeing my first Bowman Rookie cards ranks as one of my favorite adult memories and a surreal moment that I'll never forget!"

Thanks!





Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ron Kittle on baseball cards

OF-DH Ron Kittle was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1983, hitting .254 with 35 HR and 100 RBI as he helped the White Sox win the AL West. Overall for his career he hit .239 with 176 HR and 460 RBI. He now makes benches out of baseball bats and bases, which can be purchased on his website RonKittle.com, where you can also read about his charitable and public speaking work. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I do not collect cards, but have thousands of mine...gifts from others, that I use when someone mails a request to me...youngsters that is...
There is a hologram card of myself, Carlton Fisk and Tom Seaver..looks cool.

I was your typical kid..used cards to make noise on my bicycle wheels."

Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is his base card from the same set, 1986 Sportflics.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Player Profile: Erik Averill

I have one card of Erik Averill, from 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractors.

Playing career: Erik Averill pitched in the Tigers and Mariners organizations from 2005 to 2008. His best season was 2006, when he went 9-8 with a 3.73 ERA for West Michigan.

Where he is now: Wealth Manager at Athlete Wealth Management Group.

My memories: He shared his thoughts on baseball cards with this blog in 2012.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Erik Av, between Eric Avila, a soccer player, and Erik Avakian, Pennsylvania’s Chief Information Security Officer. There do not appear to be any other prominent Erik Averills.

Coming up: The next profile will be Steven Baker.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Phillip Britton on baseball cards

Catcher Phillip Britton played in the Braves and Orioles organizations from 2005 to 2010. In 328 games he hit .259 with 25 HR and 132 RBI. Now the owner of Britton's Bullpen in Olney, IL, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Favorite card- Greg Creek as a Catcher.
I don't collect a lot, just a few of the friends that I have still playing."


Thanks! Infielder Greg Creek played 424 minor league games, none at catcher. Here is a card of Britton from 2007 Bowman:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Brett Myers on baseball cards

Brett Myers won 97 games over a twelve year major league career, mostly with the Phillies and Astros. His best season was 2010, when he went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA for Houston. Now a country/southern rock singer, he recently released his first album, Backwoods Rebel. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I used to when I was a kid but I don't collect them anymore."

Thanks!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wallet Card at Alcol Realty and Broadstreets

Here's a couple of photos I had in my folder that aren't really meaty enough for a post by themselves.

Just over the man's head on the left of this picture is a white sign. Enlarge the photo and you will see "Alcol Realty IL8-6600". This sign for this long-defunct realtor in Woodside, Queens dates back to the days of letter phone exchanges, at least back to the mid-1970s.

The closing of a Starbucks across from the Empire State Building revealed a sign for a long-defunct men's clothing retailer, Broadstreets. Enlarge the photo and you can see the old sign just above the green scaffolding on the left.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Player Profile: Jeff Baisley

I have one card of Jeff Baisley, from 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: Third baseman Jeff Baisley played for the Oakland A’s in 2008. In fourteen games he hit .256 with 0 HR and 5 RBI.

Where he is now: Account Executive at Insight in Scottsdale, AZ.

Interesting facts: Twin brother Brian and another brother Brad also played pro baseball.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Jeff Bais, ahead of Jeff Baisden, a facilities technician at Target. Another prominent Jeff Baisley is Chief Operating Officer at Arosa Capital Management.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Steven Baker.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wallet Card and the Case of the Mystery Machine

You'll have to click and enlarge the photo to see it, but in the parking lot of this Collision Depot sits the Mystery Machine, the van from Scooby-Doo.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Player Profile: Robert Alcombrack

I have one card of Robert Alcombrack, from 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: Catcher Robert Alcombrack played in the Indians organization from 2006 to 2008. In 124 games he hit .233 with 8 HR and 45 RBI.

Where he is now: CEO of REA Logistics in Arizona.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Robert Alco, between Robert Alcock, Head of Partners & Channels at Amazon Business, and Robert Alconada, who killed someone while driving drunk in 2004. There do not appear to be any other prominent Robert Alcombracks.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Steven Baker.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Wallet Card at Irving Trust

Irving Trust originally opened in 1851 as Irving City Bank of the City of New York. By the early twentieth century it was one of the leading banks in New York. By the early 1980s it operated thirteen branches across the city, working mainly with large corporations and banks. In 1988 it was acquired by Bank of New York, making the combined entity the nation's 12th-largest bank.

One of Irving's branches, on 5th Avenue and 21 street, recently had it's old facade come back into view thanks to some recent construction.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Player Profile: Manny Aybar

I have one card of Manny Aybar, from 1999 Bowman.

Playing career: Manny Aybar pitched for seven teams, mostly the Cardinals and Giants, from 1997 to 2005. In 208 games he went 17-18 with a 5.11 ERA.

Where he is now: Assistant pitching coach for the Mets’ Dominican League team.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Manny Ay, ahead of Manny Ayala, a former Padres minor leaguer. There do not appear to be any other prominent Manny Aybars.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Steven Baker.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Baseball card stories from Marlin McPhail

Outfielder-third baseman Marlin McPhail played ten seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Mets and White Sox organizations. In 874 games he hit .279 with 53 HR and 360 RBI. A longtime Mets scout, he has signed several major leaguers, most notably Matt Harvey. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I was a fairly avid card collector as a kid.  However I certainly didn't collect them with the thought they would be worth something in the future.  It was all about trying to get your favorite player. We used the cards. Playing match(flip) or knock down trying to get more cards.  A gamble but fun nonetheless. And always looking for the right trade with my duplicates for rarer cards, or in other words the ones we just didn't see much of!  The gum was also a big draw buying a pack of cards.

After my minor league career and having established a relationship with a Topps rep, I tried to secure full sets for my kids.  Kept it up for about a dozen years or so.   I have picked up some random cards here and there in the last 10 years but no longer "collect".

My most interesting card story that involves one of my cards is really not "my" card.  Back when I was with the White Sox, I was a non roster invitee to Spring Training. An up and coming RHP was Adam Peterson.  His 1990-91 Baseball's 100 Hottest rookie card with Score actually used my photo on the back! 
My personal Favorite card of myself was my last card in 1991 with Indianapolis Indians.  The Line-Drive Pre-rookie version.  Thought it was well done and they gave us the freedom to pose how we wanted.
Lastly, I have lots of cards of favorite players but my pride and joy is my two Mike Schmidt rookie cards.  One for each of my children to have when I pass down my collection to them!"
Thanks! I don't have the Line Drive card, but here is one I do have from ProCards.

Friday, September 18, 2015

WalletCard at Pappas Restaurant

This Pappas restaurant on 14th Street was one of several Pappas restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn that were around from the 1910s to the 1970s. Among its regular customers was Dodgers great Jackie Robinson. The site was later a liquor store; when that store went out of business it's sign was taken down, revealing the long-forgotten Pappas sign.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Player Profile: Bryan Anderson

I have one card of Bryan Anderson, from 2005 Bowman Draft.

Playing career: Catcher Bryan Anderson played for the Cardinals, White Sox and A’s from 2010 to 2014. In 36 games he hit .206 with 0 HR and 6 RBI.

Where he is now: In 82 games at Oakland's AAA team in Nashville, he has hit .202 with 3 HR and 25 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fourth when you type Bryan An, between Bryan Antoine, a youth basketball star, and Bryan and Katie Torwalt Holy Spirit, referring to gospel music. The first entry when you google Bryan Anderson is not the ballplayer but a triple-amputee Iraq War veteran.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Manny Aybar.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Eduardo Villacis on baseball cards

Eduardo Villacis made his major league debut for the Kansas City Royals on May 1, 2004. It ended up being his only major league game. Later that month he was claimed on waivers by the White Sox. This led to Topps photoshopping him into a uniform he was never in. Villacis, who went 29-17 with a 3.57 ERA in a six-year minor league career and who is now pitching coach for the Cubs' Venezuela Summer League team, wrote about it when answering my questions about baseball cards.

"One of my cards I have of myself is with the White Sox uniform when i pitched with KC at NY in my debut. Why? I don't know, but i think it has to be because of the contract rights.
 
2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Gold is one of my favorites. On this card I'm in the KC uniform but it has a SOX shield in the middle and I do not why.

I don't collect cards either. It is fun but I do not collect."
Thanks! I will explain to him about how card companies like to put new logos and sometimes photoshop new uniforms onto cards.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Player Profile: Cody Allen

I have one card of Cody Allen, from 2005 Bowman Draft.

Playing career: Outfielder Cody Allen was the Marlins’ tenth-round pick in 2005. After two years at rookie ball in which he hit just .188 with 1 HR and 14 RBI, he was moved to the mound. In two more years at rookie ball he went 4-7 with a 4.77 ERA, ending his pro career.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Cody Allen is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Cody A, between Cody Allen Christian, an actor, and Cody Asche, the Phillies third baseman. When you google Cody Allen you don’t get the Marlins minor leaguer but the current closer for the Indians.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bryan Anderson.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Trade with Cards on Cards

Got a lot of really cool cards in a trade with Cards on Cards. He hit a lot of different aspects of my collection. Here is just a small section of highlights:

Nice unusual shot of Yankees great Hideki Matsui.
 There were a lot of the mini cards of the 1980s. I really liked this photo of Dave Winfield.
 Don't think I've ever seen a card of a player looking straight up after hitting the ball.
 Another nice Winfield card.
 The Sportflics cards actually look really good when photographed, you get a nice blend of the two pictures, almost a ghost effect at times.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wallet Card at two old 14th street banks

From 1907 to the 1980s, two rival banks stood across from each other at 14th Street and 8th Avenue. It has been over 20 years since either was a bank, but the buildings remain in use today.

77 Eighth Avenue was built in 1907 for the New York County Bank - you can still see the faded remains of the bank name under the eagle. In the 1930s the bank was absorbed by Manufacturers Hanover. By the 1990s the space was a theater, and most recently it was Nickel Spa for Men, though the spa has closed and the building is back on the market.

Across the street, this building at 272 Eighth Avenue was built in the 1890s for New York Savings Bank, which had been at that location since 1854. In the 1980s it became Central Carpet, and then a restaurant, before becoming a CVS in 2010.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Player Profile: Mitchell Arnold

I have one card of Mitchell Arnold, from 2005 Bowman.

Playing career: Mitchell Arnold pitched in the Angels organization from 2002 to 2005. In 83 games he went 3-6 with 21 saves and a 5.07 ERA.

Where he is now: He is an attorney and land negotiator for California Resources Corporation in Bakersfield, CA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Mitchell Arn, ahead of Mitchell Arnold LPL, a financial advisor. The first entry when you google Mitchell Arnold is not the ballplayer but the controller for Akrimax Pharmaceuticals in Pennsylvania.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Manny Aybar.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Wallet Card at an old taxi sign

This painted sign at the Lynbrook Long Island Rail Road Station advertises a taxi service with the old letter exchange phone number. The number is actually still correct, although the "LY9" exchange has been obsolete for over 40 years.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Player Profile: Chip Alley

I have one card of Chip Alley, from 1999 Baseball America.

Playing career: Catcher Chip Alley played seven seasons in the Orioles organization. In 396 games he hit .237 with 16 HR and 127 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Chip Alley is now?

Google Autocomplete results: Chip Alley Baseball is third when you type Chip Alley, between Chip Alley Skegness and Chip Pan Alley Skegness, referring to a section of Skegness, UK with many fish ‘n’ chips shops. There do not appear to be any other prominent Chip Alleys.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Manny Aybar.
 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wallet Card is ready for NFL Opening Night . . . 2006

In 2006 the NFL Thursday Night season opener moved from ABC to NBC. The defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers were hosting the Miami Dolphins, and Diddy and Rascal Flatts were the halftime performers. NBC promoted the game with a billboard overlooking Herald Square.  Perhaps the billboard was effective, as a record 19.2 million viewers watched Pittsburgh beat Miami 28-17 in a game most notable for Dolphins coach Nick Saban messing up a chance to have a bad call replayed.

I guess NBC and everyone else forgot about the billboard, though, as nine years later it still stands, as tomorrow night once again the Steelers open the NFL season (this time hosting the Patriots, with the halftime show "draws" being Ellie Goulding and Train). In the time this billboard has been standing, New York has seen a Super Bowl played at the Meadowlands, the Giants win two Super Bowls, and the Jets just keep on being the Jets.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Player Profile: Efrain Alamo

I have one card of Efrain Alamo, from 1999 Baseball America.

Playing career: Outfielder Efrain Alamo played six seasons in the minor leagues, mostly in the Rockies organization. In 454 games he hit .233 with 36 HR and 200 RBI.

Where he is now: Sales Specialist at Prestige Subaru in Asheville, NC.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Efrain Al, between Efrain Alvarez Soccer, referring to a youth player, and Efrain Alicea, a pastor. There do not appear to be any other prominent Efrain Alamos.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Chip Alley.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trade with Bob Walk the Plank

Recently I sent a few random base Penguins cards to Bob Walk the Plank. He sent me three awesome Yankee cards in return.

The package came two days before I went to see Ivan Nova pitch in person. This card must have brought good luck because Nova pitched well enough to get the win. This really is a nice patch card with the three different colors, and being numbered 15/15 is neat as well. If he had pitched poorly I would have thought it might not be a bad idea to put the unlucky shirt in the shredder and mail the pieces to Donruss. Actually it would be cool if any player did that after a bad game.
 This is a beautiful shiny card of a great Yankee in one of my favorite recent sets. Numbered 36/44 so quite low too.
 This beauty is also a very low number, 17/25. He's a bit under-appreciated now but Rickey was a great Yankee in his relatively brief time with the team.



Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wallet Card at Yankee Stadium

I don't always get to go to three Yankee games in a year, and had never seen them win three games in one season before. Looks like Wallet Card is definitely bringing them luck.
When I snapped this photo, the Yankees looked headed to a sure loss. It was the bottom of the sixth and the Yankees had managed only one hit against their nemesis, Chris Archer, who was 5-0 lifetime against the Yankees with an ERA under two. However, Ellsbury hit this very pitch into right field for a single, and after Gardner struck out and Beltran walked Brian McCann hit a 3-run home run to tie the game, and on the very next pitch A-Rod hit one out as well, and the Yankees were up 4-3 with a lead they would not relinquish - after a couple of insurance runs and some bullpen shakiness the Yankees squeaked by with a very exciting 6-4 triumph.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Baseball card story from Steve Rain

Steve Rain pitched nine seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Cubs organization. He made the major leagues with the Cubs in 1999 and 2000, going 3-5 with a 5.48 ERA. Now a Senior Sales Consultant at Peter Lik Fine Art in Las Vegas, he kindly shared this baseball card story.

"I have a baseball card from the 1995 Rockford Cubbies that has Neil Faulkner's picture on it."

Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is one of him I do have, from 1997 Bowman.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Player Profile: Paul Ah Yat

I have one card of Paul Ah Yat, from 1999 Baseball America.

Playing career: Paul Ah Yat pitched six seasons in the minor leagues, mostly in the Pirates organization. In 149 games he went 40-32 with a 3.59 ERA.

Where he is now: An enforcement agent for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

My memories: I have been integrating my various card purchases of the last year into my collection, and am at the point where I am starting to write profiles for players I hadn't had cards of before. That includes a fair amount of research as well as attempting to interview the player if possible, which is why this profile comes up two days after I was able to interview him for this blog.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Paul Ah , ahead of Paul Ah Cook, President of Paradise Beverages. There do not appear to be any other prominent Paul Ah Yats.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Efrain Alamo.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wallet Card at 38 Market

38 Market was just another undistinguished New York deli. On the corner of Jane Street and Eighth avenue, it closed in 2003, replaced by a gourmet chocolate shop. Remarkably, over a decade after it closed, not only is the neon sign still there, but some of the letters are actually still lit (very hard to see in the picture though). Somebody is wasting electricity...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Paul Ah Yat on baseball cards

Paul Ah Yat pitched professionally from 1996 to 2001, mostly in the Pirates organization. In 149 games he went 40-32 with a 3.59 ERA. Now an Enforcement Officer for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I was playing with Chad Hermansen and he was sent 15,000 cards to him from Topps to be signed during spring training and they paid him $ per card for him to do that. He was determined to sign all 15,000 during spring training. He did it and signed all of them, but ended up straining his wrist and hand in the process. The muscles in his hand was all cramped up throughout Big League Camp.

My favorite baseball card was the one that Topps made with the Hawaiian Islands in the background.

I do collect baseball cards and my 9 year old daughter just got into it as well. I've passed my collection down to her and now she's starting her own."
Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is one from my collection.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wallet Card with some under-awning signs

Across from Carnegie Hall on Seventh Avenue are a couple of interesting under-awning signs. (Maybe just interesting to me.)

This deli does not appear to have a name.

Actually, it is called Gem's Circle Farm, and as you can see under the awning they used to have the Circle name on their sign. If you zoom in on the photo you will see the sign for Regent Sign Co. with the telephone number AL4-9116.  The AL stands for Algonquin and dates the sign to the early-1970s at least.

Further down the avenue is Hao Hao Gift Shop.
 
The sign for the previous store is underneath. Zoom in but it is hard to read - Allison's? Ellison's?